Stories about Egypt

Protests in Egypt, Turkey and Brazil for the people, protests in Pakistan for the politician?

Since the past few months, the protests in Cairo and the recent ones in Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro, really made me ponder upon what the real problem in these countries was and why their people were on the streets – all the time. Are these countries worse than Pakistan? Of course not. The economic indicators paint a completely different picture and tell us that countries, like Egypt and in particular Turkey and Brazil, are doing great in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Human Development Index (HDI) and the food index. In terms of peace and national violence, these countries are ...

Read Full Post

Kholo BC and eight other reasons to lift the ban on YouTube now!

Just as the burning of a book is a sad sight, so is banning of resources of knowledge. It feels as if ideas contained in the treasure of enlightenment are vanishing, as pages turn to ash by the wicked work of flames. Almost a year and six months have passed since the world’s largest video sharing website, YouTube, was banned by the information ministry, after a massive uproar from Muslims across the world took place against the excerpts of the blasphemous film The Innocence of Muslims. The blanket ban on the site, however, has proved to be adverse in numerous ways and many ...

Read Full Post

The right to write: Denied!

Journalism – a profession of disseminating news – has attained the status of an endangered profession globally. Incidents of violence and state sponsored prosecution attempts against journalists have become a de jure way of life for many. Prosecution and persecution to some degree, comes with the territory, if you will. This is unfortunate considering the burden that falls on a journalist’s shoulders. On January 29, 2014, there were several news stories of the Egyptian government’s decision to file charges against 20 journalists working with Al Jazeera on the pretext of risking national security. In my opinion, suppressing the voice of one journalist is akin to suppressing the ...

Read Full Post

Putting journalists behind bars (or in coffins) – the loss is yours!

Last week, a delegation of foreign journalists visited our newspaper’s thrice-attacked office in Karachi, Pakistan. As we hustled to make them feel comfortable while simultaneously trying to explain the newsroom dynamics, one of them asked us in a matter-of-fact tone. “Do you support the current government?” There was a nervous silence as each of us lingered over the question for a few seconds. Until one of my colleagues responded, “We try and support no one. Our job is to report things as is.” All of us nodded in unison. In a simple sentence, she had summed up the essence of what journalists all across ...

Read Full Post

Egyptian verdict: They gave her 11 years in prison, she gave them a beautiful, victorious smile

As I scroll down my Twitter feed, a smile captivates me. The face had thousands of words, endless thoughts and most importantly tranquillity of soul. She isn’t a celebrity or a popular activist rather a girl next door, who wouldn’t be noticed in normal surroundings. Caged in an Egyptian courtroom with 20 others like her, she received an 11 years sentence for her crimes. The gravity of their offense lay in treading the forbidden path – ‘challenging dictatorship’ – a much greater sin than eating the apple. These young women, all in their teens and tweens, rounded up late last month were ...

Read Full Post

Five things Egypt can learn from Pakistan

Discussions over Egypt’s future have almost become a coffee table routine for many across the globe. Shock, grief and anger over the violence and death, combined with the fear of a looming civil conflict, has paved way for passionate discussions over the ‘legitimacy’ and ‘actions’ of various political entities in the most populous Arab state. As Egypt copes with a changing political climate and sluggishly works its way towards democracy, one wonders what external solutions can be offered to help end this unrest and instability. If Egypt wants to look at a fellow Islamic country for guidance, it should look no ...

Read Full Post

Egypt: Does the West change the definition of democracy when it comes to Muslims?

While the Egyptian army is busy massacring Morsi supporters in Egypt, the west and local liberals both have turned mute and silent. Hundreds have been killed and it is feared that the violence will escalate once the Egyptian army resumes its standard operating procedure of ‘find-torture-kill’; something it has mastered for a number of years. Champions of freedom and democracy, the US and the West, have once again shown their true colours of deceit, deception and hypocrisy as they fully support the Al-Sisi led coup without once thinking of the impact this could have on a ‘democratically elected’ government; ...

Read Full Post

Celebrating Eidul Fitr: Same sentiments, different places

“Haw, it must be so boring spending Eid away from home!” This is something I have heard on more than one occasion throughout my life: elders of the family pitying those who have left home, particularly for ‘non-Muslim’ countries. As a child, it made me imagine a horrible picture of life abroad where Ramazan would be spent in dark lonely corners, having no halwa on Eid Miladun Nabi, and no one to check out your new crisp dress on Eidul Fitr. The reality, however, is far from that, and I realised this as I grew up. Working for a news organisation literally opened ...

Read Full Post

From Egypt to Pakistan: Why are we infatuated by the Army?

After a halting transition to democracy that was hailed around the globe, Egypt is once again under military rule. The generals claim to have intervened in the national interest, citing the massive crowds who filled the streets of Cairo to protest the Islamist rule of the democratically-elected president.  This coup, coming just a year after the Arab Spring, raises a fundamental question that applies not just to Egypt but also to Pakistan. How do armies legitimise their coups? Despite their differences, there are striking parallels between coups in Egypt and Pakistan. Take the case of Pakistan: The army’s maiden coup in 1958 by general ...

Read Full Post

Advice to Egypt: Don’t trust your Generals!

Yesterday was all about Egypt. News channels across the globe were thronged with surreal images of Tahrir Square. Millions celebrated the forceful ouster of President Morsi via fireworks, banners, chants and slogans. Army helicopters draped in the national flag made rounds over the crowd, symbolising more the army’s unison with the protestors than providing aerial security. Photo: Reuters Morsi’s political dominance lasted a year, and came to a screeching halt after the rather humorous deadline of 48 hours given to him by the army to get his act together. Photo: Reuters Did General Sisi and his loyal comrades ...

Read Full Post